Congratulations to Teresa Fletcher, lead advanced practice provider (APP) in adolescent medicine, for being named the 2018 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) of the Year by the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).
Teresa was described by her nominator, Jill Smith, RN, another lead APP, as one of the most dedicated adolescent medicine PNPs she knows.
“Teresa starts her day on the inpatient psychiatric unit where she can be found completing histories and physicals on new admissions and following up on any testing ordered by the adolescent department,” said Jill. “She then heads to the outpatient adolescent center where she is instrumental in providing holistic care to patients and precepting student NPs.”
Although she originally wanted to be a physician, a conversation with her cousin changed her mind.
“Throughout high school I wanted to become a physician until I had a close cousin get diagnosed with cancer,” Teresa said. “He talked me into becoming a nurse because he said the nurses inspired him to live.”
Teresa is very active on the Advance Practice Council and serves as the co-chair of the APP spring conference. She is the APP representative on the Adolescent Medicine Update presented each year by the hospital and often presents at the conferences.
“Teresa is a strong advocate for adolescent reproductive health and can be found in the Akron Public Schools giving lectures to students on a regular basis,” Jill said. “This is challenging with the influx of Nepali and Burmese students in North Akron where 67% of the students don’t speak English. Her lectures must be completed with an interpreter translating her material and the students’ questions.”
Teresa says it became apparent working with children was her calling after her first day as a student nurse in 2005.
“I enjoyed the home-like feeling the hospital had,” Teresa said. “I accepted a tech position on 6100, but on my first day they said I was going to be on 6200 (with the teenagers). I was only 19 at the time and scared to death. Once I started working with the teen population I realized these kids needed someone to believe in them and accept them for who they are.”
Teresa says precepting is important to her because she wouldn’t be where she is without the great preceptors she had.
“Cathy Anderson, a retired NP from adolescent medicine, taught me the way,” she said. “I feel like I get peace of mind that future NPs are gaining the knowledge that I gained though relevant clinical experiences.”
Ever so humble, Teresa cites the amazing team in Adolescent Medicine for her ability to do her job well.
“It’s nice to know that people have noticed the work I put in, but I wouldn’t be able to do the work that I do without my amazing team in Adolescent Medicine – specifically Dr. (James) Fitzgibbon who has been a guiding light for my career,” she said.
Teresa and her husband, Kevin, live in Medina with their 4- and 2-year-old daughters, Rose and Grace. Outside of work Teresa enjoys spending time with her family going to parks, zoos and museums.